Product launches are one of the scariest (if not the scariest) parts of business. The risks that always exist in the market suddenly seem a lot higher the closer one gets to a product launch.
Despite all the advice available, there are still several common mistakes that are often made during this time. By knowing how to avoid these pitfalls, you are one step closer to a successful start.
Here are the 10 costliest mistakes to avoid when doing a product launch.
1. Scheduling Ineffectively
A successful product launch needs to be planned out to the nth degree. Everything (dates, times, personnel, teams, tasks, functions, roles, and projects) needs to be efficiently scheduled and managed. This is easier said than done, as there are many moving parts to a product launch.
To ensure that everything stays on track, block out time each day to focus exclusively on the product launch. During these times, concentrate only on launch scheduling issues, management, and anything else that will push the project forward.
Utilize Gantt Charts; they are an indispensable project management tool and will help the process of your product launch flow a lot smoother.
Additionally, hire someone who is a master of project management. If you know that you have trouble managing timelines, don’t be afraid to enlist some outside help. You’ll be glad you did.
2. Neglecting Marketing
Given its importance, you would be surprised how often this happens. But, neglecting marketing is equal to forgetting about the whole purpose of the launch. Given that you want to earn revenue and build a business with your new product, the only way you are going to make that happen is through capable marketing.
Do not get your marketing team involved at the last minute. They need to be on the same page as the rest of the team from day one. This is because your marketing strategy should go hand-in-hand with the development of your product. Therefore, brainstorming your marketing approach and your unique selling proposition (USP) should begin at the same time as brainstorming starts for your new product.
3. Being Ill-prepared to Sell the Product
Not surprisingly, your team also has to be able to sell your product. To do this, work together to educate your sales personnel on the new product and then select the appropriate sales channel for it. Next, identify how the new product will mesh with any existing products you have and your known sales cycles. At this point, reach out and communicate with your current customers about your product launch.
4. No Growth Plan
Not to be the bearer of bad news, but there is a reasonable chance your product may fail. On the other hand, your product could also significantly accelerate your company’s growth. Most companies don’t adequately prepare for either scenario. In fact, not being able to support fast growth is the number one flaw of product launches.
To combat this, take the time to develop a growth plan. If your product does take off, what will happen?
5. Ignoring Your Launch Date
If you have announced a launch date, you must stick to it. Having a strict deadline helps to streamline the process and allows your firm to maintain momentum. Be realistic when you set your timeline and then employ management to adhere to it. The successful control of the entire project will ensure you meet your deadlines. Depending on your product, you may want to consider working with the leading event company in Dubai for a product launch party.
6. Overlooking the Rest of Your Products
This is only a potential issue if your company has existing products already in the market. If you do, then you need to think of your next item as a new member of the family. This means that your new product must fit in with the rest of the business; otherwise, it will negatively affect the entire enterprise.
To cope with this, consider how the new product sales may enhance or erode other product lines. If necessary, identify a way to reach existing customers with information about the new product and ask them for their honest opinion.
7. Focusing on the Wrong Metrics
Before you launch, cue up your analytics so you can get the most accurate picture of your product from the get-go. In addition to measuring revenue, choose some key performance indicators (KPIs) that your firm thinks are relevant benchmarks. Track these metrics during and after launch and use the information to boost the future success of your product and any future launches.
8. Failing to be Patient
If you are unsure when to be patient and when to be impatient, try to remember to be patient for growth, yet eager for profits. It might take some time to take off, but that’s normal!
9. Rejecting Your Beta Testers
Now that you have completed a beta test, you have to actually listen to what the feedback is. Potential customers have provided you with valuable feedback that will dramatically help launch your product. Make sure that your team has a robust plan for getting the information from beta users and for drawing actionable items from it.
Don’t reject what they have to say; instead, take the information seriously and be open to their comments on your product’s usage, strengths, and shortcomings.
10. Neglecting Members of Your Team
A successful product launch takes a village. From the get-go, everyone on your team (from the assistants to the executives) needs to feel involved and understand what is going on. Have regular company meetings to update everyone on the entire product launch plan. Allow for questions, feedback, and input every single time.
Outside of these meetings, continually ask for all team member’s input; they may catch a potential slip-up that you may have missed. You want to do everything in your power to have everyone feeling inspired and excited when the big day rolls around!
A successful launch is possible, as long as you are aware of and go out of your way to avoid the pitfalls. Follow these recommendations, stay focused on the end-goal, and work hard for success. What have you learnt from past or current product launches? All past experience is gold, so this time, you’ll be better prepared.
Hadi Al Rifai specializes in event management and audio engineering and holds a BA in business management from the American University of Science and Technology in Beirut. Before settling down in Dubai to manage Level Production, Mr. Rifai has worked with leading national and multinational event management organizations in the Middle East where he honed his AV production skills. Among the notable projects he has worked with are the X Factor and Baalbek Film Festival.
MANAGING PARTNER LEVEL PRODUCTION DUBAI
HADI AL RIFAI